Braves Journal, The House That Mac Built

Scarred, but smarter.

06 Jul

Ursine game thread: July 14, Braves at Cubs

I'm an elf!“Hi, I’m Gwinnett Braves outfielder Jordan Schafer. I’m on the shelf right now with a wrist injury, and you know what? It’s been bothering me all year! Of course, I didn’t tell anybody that it was that bad, because (1) I was a rookie and didn’t want to lose my job, and (2) I’m a baseball player, and we never tell the truth about our physical conditions. You would think someone would have noticed, but I guess not. Anyway, in AAA, who cares? So I came clean. Also, I look like Herbie, the Misfit Elf.”

119 Responses to “Ursine game thread: July 14, Braves at Cubs”

  1. 1
    ububba Says:

    The Year Without a Santa Claus. I was a fan of the Heat Miser myself.

  2. 2
    Mac Thomason Says:

    From Bill James Online:

    The hottest hitters in baseball at this moment are:
    Martin Prado 107°
    Justin Morneau 105°
    Hideki Matsui 101°
    David Murphy 100°
    Prince Fielder 99°

  3. 3
    Tiger224 Says:

    From Tiger224:

    the worst hitters in baseball that think they deserve a HUGE long-term contract at this moment:

    Jeff Francoeur 127 deg

  4. 4
    PWHjort Says:

    Per DOB:

    Francoeur OUT OF LINEUP AGAIN.

    McLouth CF
    Prado 2B
    Jones 3B
    McCann C
    Anderson LF
    Escobar SS
    Kotchman 1B
    Diaz RF
    Jurrjens RHP

  5. 5
    Weldon Says:


    This means something is afoot, right?

  6. 6
    JC Says:

    We’re at stage one of a Jordan phase out. Kelly sat for four straight games earlier in the season before returning to the lineup. I expect Francoeur will start the Wed. day game, if not tomorrow.

    If they would only have the balls to send him to the minors. He’s not playing, nor listening to TP. I hear Gwinnett’s got an open slot.

  7. 7
    Dusty Says:

    I read somewhere on the interwebs about a possible Vazquez-Ethier swap. I think it was more speculating than an actual rumor but I would do that deal yesterday.

    Might make sense for LA too. They need another top flight pitcher and could then still use Pierre.

  8. 8
    PWHjort Says:

    It would make sense for LA right now. It would, of course, be incredibly stupid of them, but you’re talking about a GM who traded Carlos Santana for 3 months of Casey Blake.

  9. 9
    Marc Schneider Says:

    Buster Olney listed a bunch of potential trade partners re Escobar or Vazquez,with the Red Sox being the most likely. None of the possibilities really excite me. He doesn’t see Fielder as an option because he is a Boras client. He mentioned the Dodgers, but not Ethier.

    I hope Wren doesn’t make a bad trade just to make a trade. At this point, I’m hoping we find a stupid GM.

  10. 10
    Frank Says:

    I’m glad Stenchy’s out of the lineup but I don’t think sending him to the minors will help correct his problems. The fact is he’s a marginal MLB OF and belongs on the bench or on waivers.

  11. 11
    cliff Says:


    I like the plan. A stupid GM to take advantage of is certainly to our benefit. But Bowden has been fired and Pittsburgh has upgraded. Hmm?

    Does Houston have anything we would want?

  12. 12
    Marc Schneider Says:


    JS made his reputation off stupid GMs. Wren is unlucky that there aren’t as many as there used to be.

    Re Houston: How about Lance Berkman for Jeff Francouer. Sounds good to me. And throw in Jeff Bennett–oh he’s on the disabled list?

  13. 13
    Dusty Says:

    Apparently the Brewers have called about Vazquez according to Crasnick. Don’t know what I’d want there. Hart wouldn’t be enough, neither would Gamel or A. Escobar in my opinion (though I may be in the minority on that one).

  14. 14
    Stu Says:

    Hart wouldn’t be close to enough.

  15. 15
    sansho1 Says:

    Fielder is certainly intriguing if he’s on the block. The Boras factor only matters if we cared to resign him, which by the end of 2010 we might not.

    Fielder would bring the added bonus of increasing our overall team speed. I don’t even think I’m kidding.

  16. 16
    mhr Says:

    @ 13

    Hart + one of those two.

  17. 17
    Marc Schneider Says:

    From what I can see, Hart might be marginally better than Frenchy but not much.

  18. 18
    Mac Thomason Says:

    Hart is not worth anything much.

  19. 19
    Ethan Says:

    Here’s a post from a (I’m assuming by the name) Brewer’s fan at MLBTR. Normally wouldn’t post, but I actually kind of agree:

    I honestly could care less about matt gamel. Mcgehee is playing well this year and Hardy can eventually be moved 3rd when Escobar is ready. Just give the braves Hart and Gamel for Vazquez and throw in some weak prospects to whichever side is complaining. Both teams need these upgrades badly. Anyone who thinks Jeff Francooter is even close to as good as corey hart is a moron.

    Posted by: TheCrewOfBrew | July 06, 2009 at 04:07 PM

    FYI: Gamel’s combined minor league line is .307/.379/.500

    I also think it would be a better package than what we gave up for Vasquez.

  20. 20
    Stu Says:

    Hart sucks, though. Gamel and Cameron—well, then you’d be talking.

  21. 21
    Frank Says:

    And the Braves would play Gamel at first or move Chipper to first or … ?

  22. 22
    Kirk H. Says:

    I just don’t understand why the organization hasn’t demoted Francouer yet. He has zero trade value, and anyone you might call up to replace him can hardly do worse. Give him some specific goals he has to meet to get recalled (with the understanding he will be in the minors for at least some specified number of games no matter what) and send him down. This would be better for everyone concerned than the status quo.

  23. 23
    Tony Says:

    So the Ricketts won the Cubs sweepstakes. Congrats!!

  24. 24
    connor Says:

    Gamel would play RF he has no business being in the infield. He had an .826 fielding percentage in the minors two years ago. That is not a misprint. The brewers would have already moved him to the OF if they didn’t have Braun and Hart there.

  25. 25
    Stu Says:

    Gamel at first. Or in left.

  26. 26
    Ethan Says:

    Hart doesn’t suck. He’s just either barely below average to barely above average (depending on what stats you use)

    Gamel though, would make Kotchman expendable, and also would be a legit sub/injury replacement for Chipper. Could also probably be passable in left if you needed it.

    The big question mark in this scenario though, would be Hudson.

  27. 27
    Stu Says:

    He’s worse than “barely below average” if you use the OBP stat. Especially for a corner OF.

    Obviously an upgrade over Stenchy, but not close to worth Vazquez.

  28. 28
    Mac Thomason Says:

    He doesn’t suck, but he isn’t actually good. That’s better than Francoeur, but not as good as Diaz, and no improvement over ACHE. Hence, not worth much of anything. A low-A arm, Diory, something like that.

  29. 29
    braves14 Says:

    Hart sucks. He’s slightly better than replacement level. He has a 95 OPS+ as a corner outfielder. Last year, his OBP was .300.

    Matt Diaz > Corey Hart.

    I’d trade Vazquez and a non Heyward/Freeman prospect for Cameron and Gamel.

  30. 30
    Ethan Says:

    Well, he’s got a positive (although only 3.3) VORP, but I’ll cede the point. However, he’s below most of his projections this year, and I don’t think a marginal improvement would be unexpected.

    In any case, as you said, he’d be better than Frenchy…which is a definite positive, and Mat Gamel is a legit hitter who’d we’d have for 5+ years at below market value. Also, it will probably save us around 2 MM this year, plus, Javy’s entire 10.5 MM next year.

    I don’t think that is unreasonable for 1.5 years of Vasquez, who, to be honest, is probably at the highest trade value of his career, and at some point, you’d expect to regress (at least slightly) to his career norms

    EDIT: though, if we could get Eithier, count me as sold

  31. 31
    Stu Says:

    We can’t get Ethier. Vazquez won’t agree to a trade to the NL (or AL) West.

  32. 32
    sansho1 Says:

    Mike Cameron is the most consistent player in major league history. Discuss, or don’t.

  33. 33
    Ethan Says:

    Fair point. Forgot about the NTC.

    I guess what it boils down to is Hudson. I don’t think that there is enough room on the payroll for both he and Vasquez next year.

    At some point, between the two, something will have to give.

    I’ve no problems if the Braves think Tim will be back to 100% and want to cash in on Vasquez while his value is high

  34. 34
    Mac Thomason Says:

    ESPN says that the Phillies are scouting Pedro.

  35. 35
    Stu Says:

    I agree with you, Ethan. But Vazquez should have a lot of value on the trade market, and I just hope we hold out for a really good deal.

  36. 36
    Ron E. Says:

    I’d prefer to keep Vasquez and Escobar and trade prospects for another bat. Trading arguably your best pitcher or one of your top 4 hitters isn’t going to make your team better. You should trade away a package of typically overrated prospects instead (most of whom won’t ever amount to anything in the big leagues) like the Braves did for Tex or McLouth.

  37. 37
    Mac Thomason Says:

    Yeah, that Teixeira trade worked out really well. All we gave up was two starters on a first-place team and their top pitching prospect. Oh, and two other players.

  38. 38
    csg Says:

    Vasquez is far and away the best pitcher available if the Braves start shopping him

  39. 39
    csg Says:

    Ron E, thats why we are where we are. Our team/GM has been delusional for the last 3-4 years and we keep making stupid 3 for 1 and 4 for one deals thinking we may be good enough to get to the postseason. Thats also exactly why we have no one ready to fill in at the MLB level right now

  40. 40
    csg Says:

    per Bowman (good news)

    “Look I understand the entertainment value of the rumor market that will swirl over the next few weeks leading up to the trade deadline,” Bowman wrote Monday evening. “But at the same time, I think it’s time to take Yunel Escobar’s name out of the mix.

    Teams have certainly called to express interest in Escobar and with his stubborn personality the talented shortstop has given the Braves at least reason to ponder the possibility of moving him.

    But from what I’ve gathered, the Braves have zero desire to move Escobar.”

  41. 41
    connor Says:

    Typical Francoeur quote from bowman blog:

    When asked if he’d like to be traded Francoeur said, “It’s not something that I want. I just want to play. You can take that however you want to.”

    Please go away Francoeur.

  42. 42
    Ethan Says:

    I agree as well, Stu; however, when you cut out the AL and NL Wests, the NL East, the teams that either don’t need pitching, can’t take on payroll, or are out of contention…well, the options become somewhat more limited.

    The possible teams I could see would be:

    St. Louis
    NY Yankees

    Of those, I am extremely skeptical that more than half could take on his salary, or the Yanks would even want Vasquez back, after he how quickly wore out his welcome in his first stint there

  43. 43
    Stu Says:

    Yeah, that’s a good point, Ethan. Milwaukee really does make a ton of sense…

    41—An even more typical Stenchy quote from DOB:

    “Of course I want to play,” Francoeur said. “I’m not happy about it. But I can’t do anything about it. Like I said, I don’t make the lineups out….

    “I’ve got all the confidence in the world. I know I can play. Sometimes things just don’t work out the way you want to them. Every ballplayer wants to play. Just have to be patient and wait my turn, whether it’s here or somewhere else. I don’t control that.”

  44. 44
    PWHjort Says:

    Would you rather a) pay 100$ for Francoeur to go away forever or b) recieve 100$ to hit Francoeur in the face?

  45. 45
    barrycuda Says:

    typical???……that quote actually makes sense. especially comming from a guy who knows the door is about to hit him in the ass.

  46. 46
    Adam R Says:

    Bobby just said on WGST that he’ll probably play Francoeur tomorrow, no matter what happens tonight…sigh…

  47. 47
    Ethan Says:

    Ugh. And people wonder why we don’t come down on KJ like Frenchy.

  48. 48
    Mac Thomason Says:

    If he wants to play, there’s a team only a county away that’s more his level.

  49. 49
    John Gaines Says:


    Francoeur just wants to play, huh? I guess that settles it. Send his ass down to the minors. He’ll get plenty of playing time down there.

  50. 50
    braves14 Says:

    The correct PR answer, Jeffy, is “I’ll do what is best for the team,” not what’s best for you.

  51. 51
    barrycuda Says:

    oh and now the internet tough guys want to hit Frenchy in the face……..thx for the laugh.

  52. 52
    PWHjort Says:

    Per DOB:

    Kelly Johnson’s playing at Gwinnett tonight

    I suspected they were just creatively sending him to the minors via DL.

    On a side note, Francoeur never ceases to piss me off.

  53. 53
    Mac Thomason Says:

    That outfield grass is the longest I’ve ever seen on a major league field.

  54. 54
    JC Says:

    Man, that kid’s got make up.

  55. 55
    Tre Says:

    didnt see that coming…..

  56. 56
    PWHjort Says:

    Here we go again…

  57. 57
    jjschiller Says:

    Jurrjens isn’t missing any bats.

  58. 58
    Tre Says:

    next time…just walk him

  59. 59
    Mac Thomason Says:


  60. 60
    Tre Says:


  61. 61
    njbravesfan Says:

    44 made me laugh so hard!

    COuld you imagine if frenchy tryed to make that play in right field, he would still be in the ivy

    He would never be able to hit the ball that far though….


  62. 62
    NickC Says:

    Johnny Cueto, he of the previously excellent ERA, has given up 7 runs in the first against the Phillies, including a 2 run double from Cole Hamels.

  63. 63
    anonymous lurker Says:

    Thanks, Jurrjens.

  64. 64
    Our New Insect Overlords Says:

    God, we suck.

  65. 65
    oldtimer? Says:

    Down 4 already, should I bother turning the game on?

  66. 66
    Frank Says:

    @48–actually Rome is about 3 counties away

  67. 67
    Our New Insect Overlords Says:

    @65: No. The way this game is going, we’ll be down at least 7-0 before scoring a run … which will happen after a leadoff double, a sacrifice bunt and a sacrifice fly, as we play for one run with a massive deficit.

  68. 68
    Tony Says:

    Wtf? I get home from work and it’s 4-0, 1 out in the bttm of the 3rd with runners on 2nd and 3rd? I thought Lowe pitched yesterday?

  69. 69
    Tre Says:

    Soto said a badwordddddd

  70. 70
    anonymous lurker Says:

    Pitching has collapsed.

  71. 71
    Tre Says:

    why do the Braves always fail on ESPN?

  72. 72
    Mike N. Says:

    This is no bueno.

  73. 73
    Tony Says:

    Oh I see McClouth had a leadoff single which led to nothing….

  74. 74
    Our New Insect Overlords Says:

    Glad I was wrong about how the first run came about.

  75. 75
    Tony Says:

    That’s why I’m not a big Diaz fan.

  76. 76
    OneEye Says:

    terrible at-bat from Diaz – one of his worst as a brave.

  77. 77
    Ethan Says:

    Damnit Diaz

  78. 78
    PWHjort Says:


  79. 79
    oldtimer? Says:

    Just awful.

  80. 80
    Our New Insect Overlords Says:

    Diaz is better than the alternative — at least his at-bats last longer than one pitch — but he’s a stopgap as an everyday corner outfielder.

  81. 81
    Jon K Says:

    Diaz has his moments of brillance… yet he also has equally as many moments where he’s swinging with his eyes closed at balls over his head

  82. 82
    Coop Says:

    I saw Hank Aaron strike out with the bases loaded once.

  83. 83
    Tony Says:

    Reminds me of that JPap at bat in Boston. And yes I agree he is better than the alternative.

  84. 84
    Mike N. Says:

    Nasty Nate!

  85. 85
    Remy Says:


  86. 86
    Tony Says:

    What about moving McClouth down in the order?

  87. 87
    Mac Thomason Says:

    Thank God the Cubs keep giving us outs.

  88. 88
    Adam R Says:

    He could get to 30 at this pace. Not bad.

  89. 89
    Mac Thomason Says:

    I’m pretty sure McLouth leads the team in homers since he came on board. Heck, he’s only four off the season lead.

  90. 90
    Ethan Says:

    Jurrjens looks better, and this pitcher has been hittable. Need some offense.

    C’mon Bravos. Just think: WWFND (What Would Frenchy Not Do)

  91. 91
    Mac Thomason Says:

    Hopefully, the answer to that question is “pinch hit with runners on base in a crucial situation late in the game”.

  92. 92
    Tony Says:

    Phillies 13-1 over the Reds in the bttm of the 4th….

  93. 93
    PWHjort Says:


  94. 94
    PWHjort Says:

    Pinch hit for a pinch hitter with Francoeur. I will never understand.

  95. 95
    Tony Says:

    YESSS!!!! Francouer with the infield single!!!!!

  96. 96
    Our New Insect Overlords Says:

    Bunting with McLouth? Are you f&*#ing kidding?

  97. 97
    Tony Says:


  98. 98
    njbravesfan Says:

    whats more mystifying, francouer getting the hit, or bunting with mclouth?

  99. 99
    Adam M Says:

    Sounds like he was bunting for a hit.

  100. 100
    oldtimer? Says:

    What the hell?
    Who is the idiot on that play?

  101. 101
    Tony Says:

    McClouth was bunting for a hit…

    Prado is about to hit another double…

  102. 102
    Our New Insect Overlords Says:

    @98: Francoeur, because I reckon we should be quite accustomed to mistifying bunt calls by now.

  103. 103
    Tony Says:

    Smoltz line against the weak hitting Oakland A’s tonight:

    6.1 innings, 10 hits, 5 ER, 1 BB, 3 SO.

    McCann is hitting under .240 against lefties, didn’t know that.

  104. 104
    the braves blow here Says:

    Why is ACHE batting 5th?

  105. 105
    Stu Says:

    Oh, Kotchman, you rascal.

  106. 106
    jjschiller Says:

    I was mad at Jurrjens in the second inning…

    But it turns out it didn’t matter much. Another game where we score two runs.

  107. 107
    RobBroad4th Says:

    I hate losing to the damn Cubs.

  108. 108
    Stu Says:

    It makes me sad that our losing streak has coincided with the benching of Stenchy.

  109. 109
    RobBroad4th Says:


    One of the brighter fans on the Sports South Facebook page actually argued that point. Unbelievable.

  110. 110
    Stu Says:

    Kevin Gregg looks like a short, chubby Kyle Farnsworth.

    Yeah, that’s exactly the sort of asininity I expect; ergo, the sadness.

  111. 111
    Remy Says:

    Diaz goes fishing again.

  112. 112
    RobBroad4th Says:

    Jack one, Prado.

  113. 113
    Jon K Says:

    this team is a joke… the coaching staff is a joke and there are still too many hitters who just go to sleep in too many key circumstances. I think the only way this team has a chance at the playoffs is either firing cox and TP (which won’t happen) or acquiring a new RF and LF

  114. 114
    c. shorter Says:

    man… prado let that hanger go by. argh.

    The cubs did their best Braves imitation (hibernation mode), but pull off the W.

  115. 115
    Jon K Says:

    Diaz and Anderson are simply not starters at this point. They are great bench players but they won’t produce on a consistent basis. They have far too many games where they look lost and cost the team outs. If they continue to throw either one of those guys out there every game this is going to be another losing season.

  116. 116
    Tony Says:

    Let’s not leave out the power outage in the middle of the lineup.

    Play Blanco and McClouth. At least Blanco adds some excitement to the line-up. At this point, I don’t know what can be done.

  117. 117
    Mac Thomason Says:

    Recap up.

  118. 118
    jjschiller Says:

    Anyone know what Kelly’s done in Gwinnett?

  119. 119
    Jon K Says:

    who cares what kelly’s done in gwinnett… hopefully he has a long and prosperous AAA career. I wish him nothing but the best

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